Miami Vibe

Four days in Miami is just the way to recharge a designer's batteries. Color Marketing Group International always offers up a colorful menu of speakers, workshops, and inspiration.  Add to that a field trip/study of the historic art deco district and I came away with a new column begging
to be written.

First of all, a big "thank you” is due to the World Floor Covering Association, for sponsoring my participation in this year’s Color Summit.  No where else in the country can a color professional share and be apprised of color directions from around the world.  Sweden, Germany, France, Japan, China, Denmark, Canada--were all represented with the United States.  Did this confab of International color gurus hammer out a forecast?  Absolutely--and these colors are the forecast hues for 2014 !!!!  That’s not a typo—industries whose products depend on projecting accurate colors and finishes are working on their product lines two years in advance.  So no surprise that delegates hailed from automotive, home goods, home interiors, recreation, textiles, graphic arts—and so many more.

Attending CMG members are now possessively guarding the color projections we came away with.  Each of us needs to review and synthesize the data and interpret it to our own specific area of design.  This information is so important, and has to be conveyed accurately.  So, of course, there will be more to come on the color forecast in an upcoming Designer's Corner. 

For now I'd like to capture for you the vibe of Miami and the wonderful Art Deco hallmarks that define that genre of design.  The 1940's and '50's inspired Art Deco.  The Post WWII economic boon brought about an era of design that embraced gracious living.  Luckily,
patrons of historic Miami fought big developers to keep them from razing a significant part of design history.  Hotels of that period have been lovingly refurbished and dressed in their original cotton candy hues—pinks, yellows, soft blues and pastel greens.  You can feel the aura of new
prosperity and social gaiety these buildings represented.  After all, the world was recovering from an egregious war, and the value of enjoying family and friends was embraced with a new understanding.

It’s no surprise that we are experiencing a resurgence of Art Deco design now.  I see parallels between the post WWII mindset and our own. As in the late 1940’s, we too are searching for a safe haven—a personal respite.  We yearn for the lighter side of life, a simpler time.  And the value on home and family is evident.  If this reflects YOU, you will be more than interested in these benchmarks that define Art Deco:

COLORS - Pastels ruled during the height of deco.  Pink, blue, yellow, lavender, green, all in pastel hues dominated exteriors.  Interiors played off these colors and added sophisticated deeper values of these same colors.

ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES - Exterior bas relief carvings were popular, particularly friezes of frozen water fountains.  Strong horizontal lines were created by stacking rectangular-shaped windows.  A signature architectural feature was "eyebrow soffets" adorning exterior windows.  It added dimension and emphasis. Nautical themes and architecture that simulated luxury cruise ships were captured in Deco exteriors. Theater marquis grandly marked entries to hotels.  And utilizing natural materials like colored (pink) travertine were incorporated in the smooth stucco exteriors to add elegance and luxury.

INTERIOR FEATURES – Hand-painted wall murals were a staple in Deco design. In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a resurgence of this trend in design right now.  Rich tapestries and fabrics counter-balanced the use of pastels.  Many designs of that period featured black and white marble in checkerboard patterns for flooring.  Nautical themes, popular for exteriors, were repeated in interiors.  Designers paid close attention to detail.  Specialty hand-carved crown moldings, sweeping “fan style” staircases with intricate banisters were classic Art Deco.  Interiors were elaborate but still welcoming.

FLOORS- Natural materials reigned supreme. Natural stone, polished marble, and polished dark hardwoods underscored designs of the time.  Add to that colorful woven area rugs in botanical themes, and designs spoke of welcoming guests and having good times.

My goal in Miami was to capture the essence of Art Deco for you.  This slice of design history is capturing a lot of attention and I foresee the resurgence of Deco coming quickly.  Color and design always reflect what we are experiencing on economic, political, societal, and even psychological fronts.  Emerging from dark times calls for joyous design, and that is exactly what Art Deco represents.  Let me know if you enjoyed this mini-tour of Miami. Sharing all of this with you is the best part.









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Date: May 2, 2016
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-Need interior Photos. -Need specific materials used, color, texture, etc. -Make a video available. -How to recreate historically accurate Miami vibe.

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